Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wrong to Have Animals Killed in War

IDF canine Tamara and Staff Sgt. T.

From "Military dog killed in Gaza blast saved handler's life":
IDF canine Tamara took the worst of the impact in house explosion • Her handler, Staff Sgt. T., was moderately wounded • "She was his best friend; he's grieving for her," says his mother • Oketz Unit holds ceremonies for dogs killed in action.

A dog from the IDF's Oketz K9 unit who was killed last week when a booby-trapped house in Gaza exploded saved her handler's life.
I have to say that I consider immoral to have dogs or other animals take part in military operations - be it Israeli or any other - as they cannot give their consent.

Why Criminals Are Afraid of Classical Music

Youths in a British 'sink' estate - classical music reduces graffiti and drug dealing

Published on American Thinker

By Enza Ferreri

Apparently, many young people, especially those with an antisocial disposition, dislike classical music so much that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart can even be played to discourage young hooligans from intimidating, harassing and robbing store customers.

This experiment has been tried and has succeeded over many years in several locations.

The earliest occurrence I could find goes back to the mid 1980s, when Canadian outlets of the 7-Eleven convenience store franchise began to play easy listening and classical music to drive away teenagers who were loitering outside their stores. Following the success of this new way to fight anti-social behaviour, companies from McDonald's to Co-op, transport authorities and countless shopping malls around the world have employed it.

In the UK, the first to adopt this method to cut crime and disorder was the Tyne and Wear Metro system, in England's North East, in 1997, pumping out Haydn and Mozart at its underground stations to deter vandals and loiterers, after the success achieved by the underground system in Montreal, Canada, in the mid 1990s.

The results were so positive that other British transport providers imitated the scheme, including the bus station in Stanley in County Durham and the much bigger London Underground system. The most effective deterrents, according to Transport for London, were anything sung by Pavarotti or written by Mozart.

In Holywood, County Down, in Northern Ireland, the town centre manager Steven Dunlop said that groups of youths as young as 15 caused problems near the post office which opens late at night:
"They climbed onto the roof of one building, were spitting on pensioners, abusing other people and creating an atmosphere which was putting off custom," he told BBC News Online in Belfast.
He was unsuccessful in persuading the council to play classical music to keep away the louts, but
contacted a professor at Queen's University in Belfast who did a PhD on the effects of music on the human mood.

"He found that young people were into tap and hiphop beats - faster beats of music - and they find classical music intolerable," he said.
In January 2005, The Economist was reporting that Co-op, a national chain of grocery stores in the UK, was playing classical music outside its shops whenever youths started hanging around and intimidating customers. It had the desired effect of dispersing the troublemakers.

Despite original scepticism from some who didn't appreciate the power of classical music and education ("I don't believe that such measures will have any long-term positive impact in terms of deterring menacing teenagers, whatever other benefits playing Mozart might bestow on shoppers and Underground travellers. If anything, I have a feeling that it'll probably encourage a few punks to simply use the music as a background score to their misbehavior, a la 'A Clockwork Orange.'"), it's been working, as its constant use seems to indicate.

And not just food stores, but also other types of retailers in the Yorkshire city of Leeds adopted this approach, including travel agencies, opticians and funeral services, still owned by the Co-op, with support from the police, Leeds City Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and local residents.

Hoping to repeat the success obtained in various parts of Britain, Neil Honeywood, security manager of Leeds Co-op's Food Division, said:
"Youngsters gather outside stores because it's light and there's a supply of food and shelter from the rain.

"But they can become noisy and intimidating - and that's when the nuisance starts. But classical music usually moves a group on within minutes. They don't want to listen to that - it's just not cool."
Since then the same method has been employed several times. In 2009, stores in some cities and towns of South Yorkshire, in Northern England, used it with success, as "loss prevention" manager Peter Cooper explained:
"We had an issue with young people hanging around outside the stores which was intimidating for shoppers and staff.

"This problem has been dramatically reduced since we introduced the music. The youngsters are definitely not classical music fans, and tend to disappear as soon as we turn the music on.
It's been working across the pond too.

Whether at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, La Guardia, Newark International and John F. Kennedy International airports, and Pennsylvania Station; at Portland, Oregon, light-rail stations; in Seattle's parking lots; or in Anchorage, Alaska, Town Square, classical soundtracks have helped to stop or reduce anti-social behaviour and even crimes like fights and drug dealing.

Canadian cities have also been playing classical music, including opera, from speakers in public places, such as subway platforms, to keep people from loitering.

In Australia and New Zealand, same pattern and same success stories. In Queensland, Australia, the classical music played by a local rail company in train stations reduced not only loitering but even vandalism and graffiti.

It worked in a Liverpool housing estate as well, where different types of music were played at different times of the day and, in an area where classical music was played, youngters stopped writing graffiti.

In Germany, a slightly different approach. A minister, who is also a pianist, produced a CD of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in which he played accompanied by the Deutsche Oper Berlin, entitled "Adagio in the Car". The intent was to calm down motorists, thus preventing road rage and road accidents.

The evidence seems plentiful, even though the experiments have not been performed in controlled laboratory conditions. Why, then is classical music such an effective crime and antisociality deterrent?

The simplest explanations, in the time-honoured scientific tradition of Occam's razor, should be considered first.

Teenagers, especially those with uneducated ears like the anti-social types that linger around where they are not wanted, don't like classical music, and in addition they think it's not "cool" to be seen by their peers listening to it.

A simple key factor, according to Leicester University's Adrian North, is unfamiliarity - which even those who are not psychology researchers like North know that in music is related to taste. The targets in these "experiments" were clearly unused to strings and woodwind, but for the more musically literate an atonal barrage may work better. Mr North tormented Leicester students with “computer-game music” in the union bar. It cleared the place.

Still other explanations, leaving aside physiological analyses and neurotransmitters, are in the nature of classical music itself. Much of it conveys a sense of order, symmetry and beauty, that deeply conflicts with the disorder and ugliness that these young hooligans may have in their minds while loitering. It also acts as a calming influence against aggressive and destructive impulses, creating a more peaceful atmosphere.

Giovanni Bietti, musicologist, pianist and artistic consulant of Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, explains:
"Beethoven was profoundly convinced that music could make a great social contribution. He, like Mozart and Haydn, had a rational picture of music, which is why in their compositions the initial contrasts are always resolved through the rules of musical composition, creativity and intelligence. It's clear that these logical and musical processes, which inevitably resolve the conflicts giving order to thoughts, discourage those who do not accept the rules. And it is equally clear that even those who do not know music perceive them, because the subliminal message of these compositions is strong enough to convey this sense of order to anyone."
In conclusion, it's easy to see - at the other end of the spectrum - the link between criminal behaviour and rap, link deriving not just from the rap lyrics but also from the "music" - or rather cacophony - itself.

And, on a larger scale, a society that is enthralled by the vulgarity of Amy Winehouse acoustically and Tracey Emin visually can clearly be seen on an aesthetic and moral downward path from many other different indicators.

There are forms of expression that exalt and bring out the worst of us and others that exalt and bring out the best of us. In many ways, while rap encourages the anti-social in each of us, classical music keeps it at bay.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Tower Hamlets Supports Palestinians: What a Surprise

The Palestinian flag flying on the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Has the London borough of Tower Hamlets become a little Muslim enclave in Britain's capital city?

Lutfur Rahman, the directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, in East London, today ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the town hall as a "gesture of humanitarian solidarity" with the victims of the fighting in Gaza.

Who is he to make such decision? What about people living in his council or in London who want to express solidarity with the Israelis killed by Hamas rockets?

Rahman also said that he was supporting a collection by the Tower Hamlets branch of Unison - Britain's biggest trade union - for the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Muslim charities - or organisations giving money to Muslims - have to be treated with great suspicion until they have been subjected to thorough investigation as has been done in the USA, where the largest Islamic charities were shut down and prosecuted for financing terrorism. Britain's Charity Commission must do the same here. Islam's doctrine of zakat prescribes that one eighth of all obligatory Muslim charity must fund jihad, the holy war in the name of Allah.

Interestingly, it has come to light that the Palestinian Authority refused millions of dollars worth of medical aid from Israel twice in the last week.

The area of Tower Hamlets, which has been at the centre of electoral frauds and intimidations, has for years been colonised by Muslims who in local elections tend to vote for candidates of their "faith". Under Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets Council has been trying to enforce Islamic law.

Empty Pews, Bursting Mosques

Not many words are needed.

Just compare the two pictures from the Mail Online, both taken at the end of last month, few hundred yards of each other in the East End of London.

The top photo shows a Sunday morning service in the churche of St George-in-the-East on Cannon Street Road. Only 12 people attended the service.

The photo at the bottom shows worshippers gathered for Friday midday prayers outside the mosque on the Brune Street Estate in Spitalfields. Since the mosque holds "only" 100 people - an enviable number for many churches -, the Muslim believers overflowed in the nearby streets.

As a terrible coincidence, adding insult to injury, Canon Michael Ainsworth of St George’s, that the Mail describes as "putting on a brave face", was beaten up in 2008 in his churchyard by three "Asian" (read "Muslim") youths, in an incident which police treated as a "faith-hate" attack.

The chairman of my party Liberty GB, Paul Weston, wrote about it at the time, and so did I a few years later.

Is this the country we want to live in? A country where decent, altruistic, peaceful and loving people are replaced by their exact opposites?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Students Tired of Studying Support Palestinians

"British students stand with Gaza against Israel’s assault" is the title of an article on the Stop the War Coalition website.

Today, the student movement issued a statement "in solidarity with the people of Palestine", signed by National Union of Students Officers - representing millions of British students - and over 100 pro-Palestine student leaders.

If all these luminaries concentrated on what they are supposed to do - educating themselves - instead of taking up fashionable causes about which they know next to nothing, maybe they could have learned that the correct spelling of the word for writing and other office materials is "stationery":
The Palestinians’ right to education has been particularly hard hit by the siege. Basic educational equipment including books, paper, computers, stationary and desks are all in limited supply and Israel routinely cuts off Gaza’s electricity supply.
Shame that these students don't even have that excuse for their lack of education.

Now We Must Apologise to Muslims for Our Dogs; What Next?

A Scottish terrier dog during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

That Muslims don't like and don't want to have direct contact with dogs - simply because their prophet Muhammad hated them and instructed them to consider these animals "unclean" and "impure", like pigs - many people in the West know by now, from the many stories going back at least a decade about Muslim taxi and bus drivers in our countries refusing to take passengers with dogs, even disabled people and blind persons with guide dogs.

Now comes the news that Malaysian politicians and "religious" (we know which religion, so the media could have just said "Muslim") leaders have attacked the use of Scottish terrier dogs during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, claiming it was "disrespectful to Muslims", "shameful" and "offensive".

Around 40 Scottie dogs, all wearing tartan dog coats with the name of each team on them, were used in the opening ceremony in Glasgow last Wednesday to lead teams around Celtic Park.

The Scotties were a much loved touch, except for the followers of Muhammad.

Apparently making things worse was the fact that the Scottie supposed to lead the Malaysian team, Jock, sat down and refused to move, so that he had to be carried by the team representative.
Mohamad Sabu, the deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said: "Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve and [sic] apology from the organiser.

"This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organiser should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue.

"It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future."

Dato Ibrahim Bin Ali, a far-Right politician, former MP and founder and president of Malay supremacist group Perkasa also called for an apology.

"I think it is unbecoming. The hosts have not been sensitive enough – especially in a so-called knowledgeable and civilised society like Britain," he said. "It is shameful and has offended not only Malaysia as a Muslim country, but Muslims around the world."
And people still refuse to acknowledge that Islam is a supremacist ideology.

Now we are supposed to apologise to all the Muslims of the world, no less, just for keeping dogs. What next?

Son of Hamas: Hamas Wants Conquest and the Caliphate

From the horse's mouth. An interview that CNN surprisingly broadcast on July 24.

In this video the son of one of the founders and leaders of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, enlightens the audience about the true aims of Hamas, which - sorry if this is a spoiler - have nothing to do with the protection of Palestinians, whether children or adults, or the fight to liberate them from Israel's "oppression".

Asked why he rejected the political and military objectives of Hamas, for whose leadership he had been groomed, he answered:
For the simple reasons that we see right now in Gaza, that Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans. They don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship.
About "coexistence", he explained much more than I would have thought a mainstream media outlet like CNN could have taken:
Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise. Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over. And by the way, the destruction of the state of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination. Hamas' final destination is building the Islamic caliphate, which means an Islamic state on the rubble of every other civilization.
The interviewer Don Lemon then, after reminding Yousef that in his book he says that Hamas targets civilians as a tool of war, asks him to tell the audience about the Hamas he knows from growing up in the West Bank, to which Yousef replies:
In the mosques, Hamas taught us that without shedding innocent blood for the sake of the ideology, we wouldn’t be able to build an Islamic state. They were preparing us from the age as young as five years old. This is the ideology that Hamas was feeding us. And honestly it’s impossible almost for anybody to break through and see the truth and real face of Hamas and be able to leave at some point. As you see in my case, I had to lose everything just to say no to Hamas. And today when I look at the children of Gaza and I know what they’re fed, I know that they have no choice.
Yousef converted to Christianity and is the New York Times bestselling author of the book Son of Hamas (Amazon USA), (Amazon UK) , his autobiography published in 2009.

H/t Benny Smith